Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘cancer

Tuesday Night Links!

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* In case you missed it, last night I put up my syllabi for the fall, on J.R.R. Tolkien and American Literature after the American Century.

* Mark your calendars, East Coasters: Jaimee Hills reads from her award-winning book How to Avoid Speaking at the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC on October 26. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that preorders are available now at Amazon and Waywiser Press.

* The world’s most popular academic article: “Fuck Nuance.”

That is the kudzu of nuance. It makes us shy away from the riskier aspects of abstraction and theory-building generally, especially if it is the rst and most frequent response we hear. Instead of pushing some abstraction or argument along for a while to see where it goes, there is a tendency to start hedging theory with particulars. People complain that you’re leaving some level or dimension out, and tell you to bring it back in. Crucially, “accounting for”, “addressing”, or “dealing” with the missing item is an unconstrained process. at is, the question is not how a theory can handle this or that issue internally, but rather the suggestion to expand it with this new term or terms. Class, Institutions, Emotions, Structure, Culture, Interaction—all of them are taken generically to “matter”, and you must acknowledge that they matter by incorporating them. Incorporation is the reintroduction of particularizing elements, even though those particulars were what you had to throw away in order to make your concept a theoretically useful abstraction in the first place.

See also: nuance trolling as academic filibuster.

* More ACLA CFPs: Utopia Renewed: Locating a New Utopian Praxis. Innovation, Creativity, and Capitalist Culture.

* Trying to figure out what percentage of instructors are adjuncts is the world’s most dangerous game.

But Thrun and other MOOC founders seem less than concerned about living up to their earlier, lofty rhetoric or continuing that tradition of bringing education to an underserved population. True, they haven’t entirely abandoned their rhetoric about equal access to educational opportunities. But they’ve shifted to what’s becoming a more familiar Silicon Valley narrative about the future of employability: a cheap and precarious labor force. That’s the unfortunate reality of “Uber for Education.”

* Artisanal college. Cruelty free, cage free, farm-fresh.

Aggrieved students find books dangerous; neoliberal administrators say they’re useless. I’d take the former any day.

From Corporate Leader to Flagship President?

Reform Higher Ed? Treat Badmin Like Bankers.

Literary magazines for socialists funded by the CIA, ranked.

* The strategic value of summer.

* Forty years of Born to Run. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

* Fun Home at Duke: 1, 2.

* Meanwhile, in today’s exciting new anti-academic moral panic: UNC’s The Literature of 9/11.

As Murray Pomerance points out, plagiarism is a form of theft, and we don’t steal our own work. On the contrary, we expand its reach, and build on it, thereby making it more relevant as the contexts that produce it change.

UT Knoxville encourages students to use ‘gender-neutral pronouns.’ Washington State University disavows syllabus with ban on certain words.

The Largest-Ever U.S. Gallery Of Jack Kirby’s Comic Art Heads To California.

* And no one talks about it: Barack Obama will leave his party in its worst shape since the Great Depression—even if Hillary wins. More here. I’m an outlier on the progressive side of the fence insofar as I think Clinton might really have to pull out of the race over the emails — so it’s even worse than it seems.

* The cartoon bodies of Mad Max: Fury Road.

How Many Men Did The Golden Girls Sleep With, Exactly?

* The FBI’s surveillance of Ray Bradbury. And the Sad Puppies.

Cold Opening: The Publicity Campaign for Go Set a Watchman.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina serves as a reminder that resilience is a function of the strength of a community. Gentrification’s Ground Zero: In the ten years since Katrina, New Orleans has been remade into a neoliberal playground for young entrepreneurs. The Myth of the New Orleans School Makeover.

* Incredible essay by Lili Loofbourrow on her sister’s death by suicide this summer.

* Psychology is bunk.

Žižek Says Thing.

* Against the Anthropocene.

* Whatever happened to DC Comics?

* Being Stephen Colbert.

* The free encyclopedia anyone can edit.

* Tinder as video game.

* Another Samuel Delany interview.

Janelle Monáe Vows To ‘Speak Up’ On #BlackLivesMatter.

* I love dumb stuff like this, when the corrupt screw up and lose: Business owners try to remove all voters from business district, but they forgot one college student.

Cancer cells programmed back to normal by US scientists.

British Library declines Taliban archive over terror law fears.

Upstate New York Secessionists Demand Freedom From City They Mooch Off Of.

* I told you that if there were something beyond the grave, I would contact you.

* RIP, Oliver Sacks.

* Inside Wisconsin’s Slender Man stabbing.

* I confess I am totally stunned by the Jared Fogle case. I thought I was cynical enough.

* The arc of history is long, but at least that Coach reboot has already been cancelled.

* The Racial Politics of Disney Animals.

* Mars by 2039?

* Renaming Denali.

* Why Dolphins Are Deep Thinkers.

Fall In Love with Your Job, Get Ripped Off by Your Boss. Related: workers shouldn’t work for free.

Firstborn Girls Are the Best at Life. Any Zoey could have told you that!

* The law, in its majestic equality, allows rich and poor alike not to clean up their billion-dollar toxic oil spills.

* The New Servility.

* Militarized drones are now legal in North Dakota.

Future Jails May Look and Function More Like Colleges. And, you know, vice versa…

* Never say “unfilmable”: The BBC is going to try to make a show out of The City and the City.

* Declare victory and go home to your panic room: America Has Lost The War Against Guns.

* And some things mankind was just never meant to know: See how easily a rat can wriggle up your toilet.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 1, 2015 at 7:38 pm

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Another Loose Firehose of Weekend Links!

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* I’ve been so busy this little bit of clickbait isn’t even timely anymore: 3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake. And this one isn’t timely either!

* New China Miéville story, in Salvage.

A Laboratory Sitting on a Graveyard: Greece and the Neoliberal Debt Crisis.

Campus cops are shadowy, militarized and more powerful than ever.

* How to Support a Scholar Who Has Come Under Attack.

Guns, Prisons, Social Causes: New Fronts Emerge in Campus Fights Over Divestment.

* The final budget numbers that University of Wisconsin campuses have been dreading for months were released late Monday, prompting a mad scramble on campuses to figure out the winners and losers. Wisconsin’s Neoliberal Arts.

* In other words, states would be required to embrace and the federal government would be obligated to enforce a professor-centered vision of how to operate a university: tenure for everyone, nice offices all around, and the administrators and coaches can go pound sand. Sanders for president!

* Why College Kids Are Avoiding the Study of Literature.

* Rich Kids Study English.

* 11 Reasons To Ignore The Haters And Major In The Humanities. “Quality of life” almost barely sneaks in as a criterion at the end.

* Towards a New Common Sense.

* On Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye.

* Deep cuts: Why Do TV Characters All Own the Same Weird Old Blanket?

* The plan creates, in effect, a parallel school district within Milwaukee that will be empowered to seize MPS schools and turn them over to charter operators or voucher-taking private schools. While there is, in principle, a mechanism for returning OSPP schools to MPS after a period of five years, that mechanism carries qualifications intended to ensure that no OSPP school will ever return to MPS. This, alongside funding provisions for OSPP and MPS spelled out in the motion, makes it hard to avoid the conclusion that the plan’s purpose is to bankrupt the Milwaukee Public Schools. It is a measure of Darling and Kooyenga’s contempt for the city and its people that they may sincerely believe that this would be a good thing for Milwaukee schoolchildren.

The failure rate for charter schools is much higher than for traditional public schools. In the 2011-2012 school year, for example, charter school students ran two and half times the risk of having their education disrupted by a school closing and suffering academic setbacks as a result. Dislocated students are less likely to graduate and suffer other harms. In a 2014 study, Matthew F. Larsen with the Department of Economics at Tulane University looked at high school closures in Milwaukee, almost all of which were charter schools. He concluded that closures decreased “high school graduation rates by nearly 10%” The effects persist “even if the students attends a better quality school after closure.”

The Verdict on Charter Schools?

* “Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage.” Letter to My Son.

What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong?

On June 8, CNN unveiled “Courageous,” a new production unit and an in-house studio that would be paid by advertisers to produce and broadcast news-like “branded content.” 

* Social networking and the majority illusion.

* Reddit in chaos.

* “Colleges’ Balance Sheets Are Looking Better.” Happy days are here again!

* Is Bail Unconstitutional?

* My Severed Thumb and the Ambiguities of Technological Progress.

* So much for “most unpaid internships are illegal.”

* Now that the Supreme Court has once again saved Obamacare, can we have an honest talk about it?

* From the archives! Liberalism and Gentrification.

* From the archives! The world’s oldest continuously operating family business ended its impressive run last year. Japanese temple builder Kongo Gumi, in operation under the founders’ descendants since 578, succumbed to excess debt and an unfavorable business climate in 2006.

* Dear Alice Sheldon.

* “Zach Anderson” is the latest outrageous story from the sex offender registry to go viral.

* Prisoner’s Dilemma as pedagogy.

In its 2015-17 budget, the Legislature cut four-year college tuition costs by 15 to 20 percent by 2016 — making Washington the only state in the country to lower tuition for public universities and colleges next year.

* Shadow work and academia.

* Art and the wage.

* The end of “weaponized anthropology.”

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 20: Pivot.

* Tumblr of the week: Every Single Word Spoken by a Person of Color in [Mainstream Film Title].

* New Jersey congressman pitches the least substantive response to the student debt crisis — SO FAR.

Neither special circumstances nor grades were determinative. Of the 841 students admitted under these criteria, 47 had worse grades than Fisher, and 42 of them were white. On the other end, UT rejected 168 black and Latino students with scores equal to or better than Fisher’s.

Thousands Of Children Risked Their Lives In Tanzania’s Gold Mines For $2 A Day.

* Kotsko has been blogging about his latest turn through the harassment grinder. He’s taking on Big Santa, too. He just doesn’t care.

* Climate science and gloom. But at least air conditioning might not be that bad.

* Weird day for computers this week. Anyway we should put algorithms in charge of everything.

* Scenes from the Olympic scam, Boston edition.

20091207* At least it’s an ethos!

* Sci-Fi Crime Drama with a Strong Black Lead.

* Salaita, one year later.

The world of fracketeering is infinitely flexible and contradictory. Buy tickets online and you could be charged an admin fee for an attachment that requires you to print them at home. The original online booking fee – you’ve come this far in the buying process, hand over an extra 12 quid now or write off the previous 20 minutes of your life – has mutated into exotic versions of itself. The confirmation fee. The convenience fee. Someone who bought tickets for a tennis event at the O2 sent me this pithy tweet: “4 tickets. 4 Facility Fees + 4 Service Charge + 1 Standard Mail £2.75 = 15% of overall £!”. Definitely a grand slam.

* The initial, back-of-the-napkin notes for Back to the Future 2 and 3.

* Nice try, parents! You can’t win.

* What my parents did was buy us time – time for us to stare at clouds, time for us to contemplate the stars, to wonder at a goiter, to gape open-mouthed at shimmering curtains of charged particles hitting the ionosphere. What it cost them can be written about another time. What I am grateful for is that summer of awe.

The “gag law also forbids citizens to insult the monarchy and if someone is found guilty in a defamation or libel case, he or she can face up to two years in prison or be forced to pay an undetermined fine,” local media outlet Eco Republicano reported as the public expressed its anger against the law introduced by the ruling Popular Party.

* Wisconsin Democrats sue to undo the incredible 2011 gerrymander that destroyed the state.

* Obama Plans Broader Use of Clemency to Free Nonviolent Drug Offenders. This is good, but still much too timid — he could free many times as many people as he’s freeing and still barely make a dent in the madness of the drug war.

* EPA’s New Fracking Study: A Close Look at the Numbers Buried in the Fine Print.

* The central ideological commitment of the new Star Wars movies seems to be “well of course you can’t really overthrow an Empire.” Seems right. (Minor spoilers if you’re an absolute purist.)

* Brian K. Vaughn will write an issue of The Walking Dead.

* Dune, 50 years on: how a science fiction novel changed the world.

* When adjuncts go union.

* So you want to announce for the WWE.

* When I Was White.

* This isn’t canon! Marisa Tomei is your Aunt May.

* I’m not happy about this either.

* A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem Solving, or, Our Brains Don’t Work. I got it right, though I doubt I would have if it hadn’t been framed as a puzzle.

* Your time travel short of the weekend: “One-Minute Time Machine.”

* Or perhaps post-apocalyptic Sweden is more your flavor.

* Another round of the polygamy debate.

* RISK: Game of Thrones.

Everything You Thought You Knew About Nic Cage’s Superman Film Is Wrong.

* Remnant of Boston’s Brutal Winter Threatens to Outlast Summer.

* And then there’s Whitesboro.

The Lost Girls: One famous band. One huge secret. Many lives destroyed.

Armed police in England and Wales only fired their weapons twice over the course of 14,864 operations that took place from 2013-2014.

Cellphones Do Not Give You Brain Cancer.

* 7,000 Fireworks Go Off at Once Due To Computer Malfunction.

* Sopranos season eight: How two technology consultants helped drug traffickers hack the Port of Antwerp.

I never noticed how sexist so many children’s books are until I started reading to my kids. Preach.

* A gendered history of LEGO.

* Aurora is out! Buy it! You don’t have to take my word for it! Excerpt! More! More!

* And there’s nothing sweet in life.


Written by gerrycanavan

July 10, 2015 at 8:02 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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So Many Weekend Links!

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* I’ve seen this movie: Marquette working with firm to humanely manage seagulls.

* Best game I’ve played in a really long time: Rymdkapsel.

* The Milwaukee Experiment: What can one prosecutor do about the mass incarceration of African-Americans?

* The academic community has talked itself into a very strange corner with regards to adjunctification. “Respect” is just not a good rallying point: unquantifiable, unsatisfiable, turns political struggle into emotional one. The focus should stay on the system that produces adjunct jobs instead of full-time permanent ones.

* This report that administration and construction are not significant factors in rising tuition seems totally off to me. You’re dividing by different denominators in 2001 and 2011; that masks the magnitude of the change, but also hides new spending in real terms. The last student you add should be your cheapest student: all the infrastructure is in place, you’re just adding one more. But these numbers show the opposite trend: spending at colleges is increasing even given efficiencies gained by adding more students.

* CFP: The Superhero Project.

‘The Game Done Changed’: Reconsidering ‘The Wire’ Amidst the Baltimore Uprising.

* If you, like us, lusted after the art deco tiling and rose-colored lighting of the Grand Budapest Hotel lobby, or drooled over the yellow Parisian hotel room in Hotel Chevalier, here’s some enchanting news: Wes Anderson has designed a bar.

Bardolatry as Idolatry.

NSA mass phone surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden ruled illegal.

* Andrew Cuomo, pretty corrupt.

* So are the Patriots.

An Atlas of Upward Mobility Shows Paths Out of Poverty.

The Poverty Capitalism Creates.

As investigation enters fifth month, Tamir Rice’s mother has moved into a homeless shelter. Online activists raised $60K for Tamir Rice’s family — so where did all that money go?

* The End of LSU.

* If you want a vision of the future.

Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

The Secret Lives of Homeless Students.

Ten percent of you were meant to be police officers. You have it in your blood and bones and you will excel in this profession. For 80% of you, this is a job. It’s a job you will do well and honorably for your career with the NYPD. Ten percent of you should never have made it this far. You are too dumb, too damaged, or too criminal to be police officers and you very well will be hurt, killed, or arrested in the years to come.

The Hater’s Guide To Avengers: Age of Ultron. Are you Over the Avengers Yet? Ultron Has Always Been a Dumb Character, and That’s Okay. Even Whedon isn’t into it.

Leaked Email From Marvel CEO Is A Listicle About Why Women Can’t Be Superheroes.

* Reading the Black Captain America (both of them).

Joss Whedon Didn’t Quit Twitter Because of All the Mean Feminists.

In defense of the Mommy Track.

Urban fiction, or street lit, has been snubbed by the publishing industry and scorned by black intellectuals. Yet these authors may just be the most successful literary couple in America.

‘Comedy Bang-Bang’s’ Scott Aukerman: From ‘Screwing Around’ to a Podcast Empire.

Parents call cops on teen for giving away banned book; it backfires predictably.

The Pink and Blue Projects: Exploring the Genderization of Color.

* I really liked TNI’s “Trash” issue, though it gets Oscar the Grouch all wrong.

* Did a study find men’s beards are filled with poop?

We Accidentally Turned The Entire Statue Of Liberty Into A Battery.

Halo Players Spent Five Years Trying To Get Into An Empty Room.

* I’m glad that Facebook is choosing to publish such findings, but I cannot but shake my head about how the real findings are buried, and irrelevant comparisons take up the conclusion.

* A comics Kickstarter some of you might be interested in: Bizarre New World.

Lawmakers drop Walker’s plan to spin off UW governance.

Art Institute of Wisconsin to stop enrolling new students.

Remember when Gerber tried to market “baby food for teens?”

* What Was the Venus de Milo Doing With Her Arms?

Joan Would Have Lost Her Sexual Harassment Suit Against McCann Erickson. Assholes of Mad Men’s McCann pay dividends for real-life McCann.

Q: What do the US, Somalia, and South Sudan have in common? A: It’s totally cool to put kids in jail forever.

Academic Freedom and Tenure: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Health Insurance Companies Are Illegally Charging for Birth Control.

Report: Most College Football Concussions Happen in Practice.

* Nothing gold can stay be allowed to just be a good thing that happened one time.

Essential Reading: “I Am Error” Brings New Insight to the History of the NES.

From graduation to garbage job (literally): One twentysomething’s struggle.

The source of strange radio signals that have left astronomers at Australia’s most famous radio telescope scratching their heads for 17 years has finally been discovered. It turns out that it was a microwave oven.

“My father felt the U.S.S.R. treated him better than America,” said Tynes-Mensah, a former university chemistry instructor who was born in the Russian town of Krasnodar and now lives mainly in the United States, spending summers in Russia. “He was happy here.”

* How to lie with statistics, Nicholas Kristof edition.

* Portrait of a suicide at UPenn.

* You Oughta Know Dave Coulier Will Be On Fuller House.

Woman Who Tweeted ‘2 Drunk 2 Care’ Before Fatal Crash Gets 24 Years.

Galadriel, Witch-Queen of Lórien.

In “Let Us Now Praise Famous Orcs,” I suggested that the basic humanity of Tolkien’s inhuman creatures proved them to be more worthy of our sympathy than the elves, “whose near-perfection marks them with a profound otherness.” As immortals, elves are always playing a long game in which we finite beings cannot ever hope to be much more than pawns. The characters who seem most aware of this fact in The Lord of the Rings are, in fact, the orcs, as is tellingly revealed in the dialogue between Gorbag and Shagrat. They lament having to work for “Big Bosses,” remember the “bad old times” when elves besieged them, and make hopeful plans for a postwar future in which there are “no big bosses.” In their fear and loathing of aristocrats and high powers, these orcs express thoroughly modern, even vaguely democratic sentiments. The Witch-Queen of Lórien, much like the dark Lord of Mordor, champions a different social order entirely. I am not entirely sure that Galadriel’s vision for how the world system should be organized is necessarily the better one. For those of us who are in favor of changing the world, Galadriel and her coterie of hereditary aristocrats represent the enemy, a power to be overcome, and her “long defeat” cannot come soon enough.

* The Magicians is coming to SyFy.

Sheriffs Threaten Retaliation If The Price Of Prisoner Phone Calls Is Regulated.

* Starving the beast: The UNC system in 2015.

* There are no tough choices.

Meet the outsider who accidentally solved chronic homelessness.

* Meet the original patent troll.

* The vanishing of Molly Norris.

* Empty, Lonely Nothingness. Forever: Understanding the Fermi Paradox.

A Cancer Survivor Designs the Cards She Wishes She’d Received From Friends and Family.

* Get my checkbook! Original drawings depicting iconic Martians from HG Wells’s sci-fi masterpiece The War of the Worlds are on sale for £350,000.

Edit of the Day: Footloose Without the Music Turns Kevin Bacon Into a Maniac.

* Deleted Scenes of Women in Disaster Movies Written by Men.

* Get me Thomas Pynchon: Aide to Kamala Harris arrested for pretending to run 3,000-year-old rogue police force.

* Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot.

Fracking Chemicals Detected in Pennsylvania Drinking Water. More North Carolina Residents Warned Of Contaminated Drinking Water. Horribly bleak study sees ‘empty landscape’ as large herbivores vanish at startling rate. A future without chocolate.

* Only the super-rich can save us now.

McDonald’s to reverse declining sales with more attractive Hamburglar.

These Suburban Preppers Are Ready for Anything.

* Bill Clinton has an exciting new greatest regret of his presidency.

Someone made Game of Thrones into a Google map, and it’s amazing.

Native Americans Say This Man Enslaved Them. Pope Francis Wants To Call Him A Saint.

Which President Greenlit A Trip To The Center Of The Earth?

* The LEGO sublime.

* And a dark, gritty Sliders I wish had gone to series: Parallels. By one of the creators of The Lost Room, which I also wish had gone to series!

Written by gerrycanavan

May 8, 2015 at 8:08 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Easter Links! Find Them All!

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* The 2015 Hugo nominees have been announced, and they’re a mess. The Hugo Awards Were Always Political. But Now They’re Only Political. A Note About the Hugo Nominations This Year. The Puppy-Free Hugo Award Voter’s Guide. The Biggest Little SF Publisher you never heard of declares war. “Why I Declined a Hugo Award Nomination.”

* And in response to the question “Well, what should have been nominated for a Hugo?”: “Andromache and the Dragon,” by my brilliant Marquette colleague Brittany Pladek!

* “The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany”: In portraying a horde of clones on ‘Orphan Black,’ the actress has created TV’s strangest — and most sophisticated — meditation on femininity. And a special bonus companion piece: Meet The Woman (Besides Tatiana Maslany) Who Plays Every Single “Orphan Black” Clone.

Reddit’s Bizarre, Surreal, Maddening, Hypnotic, Divisive, and Possibly Evil April Fools’ Joke. I’ve become obsessed with this.

* CFP: Ephemeral Television. CFP: Into the Pensieve: The Harry Potter Generation in Retrospect.

* Watching them turn off the Rothkos.

Somali Militants Kill 147 at Kenyan University.

Iran’s Been Two Years Away From a Nuclear Weapon for Three Decades. The Iran deal. What if the Iranians are people too?

So how much money is the NCAA making? In 2010, CBS and Turner Broadcasting gave the NCAA $10.8 billion for a fourteen-year broadcast monopoly on March Madness games. Estimated ad revenue for the 2013 tournament reached $1.15 billion, while ticket revenue brought in another $71.7 million. Last year no less than thirty-five coaches pulled down salaries higher than $1 million before bonuses; Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski topped the list with an income of more than $9.6 million.

Guarding against the errant, suicidal murderous pilot belongs to a category called “wicked problems” — the complexity of the system and the conflicting incentives mean that every solution introduces another set of problems, so the only way forward is always going to be an imperfect one. Second, and perhaps more importantly, is that this once again reveals how, as humans, we are lousy at risk assessment, and also lousy of accepting this weakness. The problem is wicked, but its occurrence is so rare that it is almost unheard of — partly why it terrifies us so. Our imagination, biases and fears are terrible guides to what should actually be done to keep us safer, and this has significant consequences in a whole host of fields, ranging from terrorism to childcare to health-care.

So you see, people like Tim Cook are selective in their moral universalism; morality, it turns out, is universal only insofar as extends to the particular desires of a Western bourgeoisie; deny a gay couple a wedding bouquet that they could get at the florist down the street anyway, and that is a cause for outrage and concern; extract minerals using indentured Congolese servants, well, look, we’ve got marginal cost to consider! The moral argument, it turns out, curdles when exposed to the profit motive, and the universality of justice actually does end at certain borders, one way or another.

How the Slave Trade Built America.

* But unlike its predecessor, the show has no obvious narrative progression. Nacho’s important, or he’s not; the Kettlemans are half the show, or maybe we should care about Sandpiper. There are flashbacks to Jimmy’s past where Bob Odenkirk is playing either 25 or 57—a savvy criminal or a neophyte screw-up. In the lead-up to Better Call Saul, there were theories that the show would be funnier than Breaking Bad (maybe a sitcom?) or more procedural than Breaking Bad (maybe The Good Wife for bad boys?) or more episodic (like X-Files with lawyers!). None of that is true, and all of that is true. It’s interesting, but not the way great TV is interesting. Better Call Saul reminds me more of Treme or John From Cincinnati: post-masterpiece meanders. 

* In TV’s Silver Age, a logjam of shows that are ‘pretty good,’ but not great.

Here’s A Map That Shows All The Future Megacities From Science Fiction.

* Can science fiction be a form of social activism? Walidah Imarisha thinks so, and she’s recruited everyone from LeVar Burton to Mumia Abu-Jamal to help her prove it.

* Johns Hopkins Faces $1-Billion Lawsuit Over U.S. Experiments in Guatemala.

*, blogging from seven years in the future.

* Are Aliens Behind Mysterious Radio Bursts? Scientists Weigh In.

* Calif. Governor Orders Mandatory Water Restrictions For 1st Time In History. It’s up to us to singlehandedly save california from drought by turning off the tap when we brush our teeth! California is pumping water that fell to Earth 20,000 years ago. California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth. R.I.P. California (1850-2016): What We’ll Lose And Learn From The World’s First Major Water Collapse. Children of the Drought.

Starting this week, 25,000 households in Baltimore will suddenly lose their access to water for owing bills of $250 or more, with very little notice given and no public hearings.

* Oceans might take 1,000 years to recover from climate change, study suggests.

Drug field tests used by cops are so bad they react positively to air, soap, candy.

* Trolley Problem: The Game. Advanced Trolley Problems.

* Scott Walker’s budget cuts $5.7 million from pollution control efforts.

The Most Popular Antidepressants Are Based On A Theory We Know Is Wrong. Most antidepressant users have never had depression.

* 12 New Science Fiction Comics You Absolutely Need to be Reading.

* From Shaman to Equinox: The Challenges and Failures of Indigenous Representation in Superhero Comics Read More: Indigenous Representation in Superhero Comics.

* Hero Price Is Right model begins the revolution by just giving away a car.

* First as an unexpectedly great show, then as I don’t know it doesn’t sound like a very good idea to me.

All told, the “Detroit Industry” frescoes are probably as close as this country gets to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

* The happiness spigot.

New report says manned Mars mission could reach orbit by 2033, land by 2039.

Clarke makes her point not with stirring courtroom rhetoric or devastating legal arguments but by a process of relentless accretion, case by case, win by win. This is her cause. Because if the state cannot put these defendants to death, then how can it put anyone to death? Thirty-five executions took place in the United States in 2014 for crimes that form an inventory of human cruelty—and yet few were as willful and egregious as those committed by Judy Clarke’s clients.

Here is an example of the priorities in New York state’s budget: There is no increase in the minimum wage, but purchasers of yachts that cost more than $230,000 are exempt from the sales tax.

* U.S. Court Officially Rules that Friendship Is Worthless.

Tales from the Trenches: I was SWATed.

Texas Just Does Not Care How Hot Its Prisons Get.

* Duke tries throwing polio at cancer, as you do.

* Interesting article on design: The Secret History of the Apple Watch.

Senate Republicans say the current system is unfair because rural residents are effectively supporting urban counties’ schools and services when they shop there. Yes, that’s literally how the system is intended to function.

The dystopian lake filled by the world’s tech lust.

* So you want to resurrect a college.

These Slow-Motion Videos of Fluids Vibrating on Speakers Are Wonderful.

* Now Full House, and the Muppets too.

These Photos Of Melanie Griffith And Her Pet Lion In The 1970s Are Everything. (UPDATE: Here’s the article that seems to be the original source, plus a little bit on Roar’s rerelease. Noteworthy lines from Wikipedia: “Over 70 of the cast and crew were injured during the production of this film.”)

* Being Andre.

Landlord Sends Man $1,200 Bill To Cleanup His Roommate’s Blood, Who Was Shot Dead By Police.

Stan VHS, A Tumblr Blog Featuring 1980s-Style VHS Cover Art for Modern Television Shows and Movies.

A Linguistic Comparison of Letters of Recommendation for Male and Female Chemistry and Biochemistry Job Applicants.

* SF Short of the Weekend: “Burnt Grass.”

* …and your short short of the weekend: “No One Is Thirsty.”

* I finally found enough time to be annoyed by Obama interviewing David Simon about The Wire.

* This Easter, we remember.

* And because you demanded it: An oral history of Max Headroom.


Written by gerrycanavan

April 5, 2015 at 9:29 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links! So Many!

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Harris Wittels has died. I really loved his appearances on Earwolf, but the one I keep thinking about is his appearance on “You Made It Weird” last November, where he spoke about his addiction at length. The humblebrag.

* Oliver Sacks writes about his terminal cancer diagnosis in the New York Times.

* The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference began today. This year’s theme is “Animacy” and both Lee Edelman and Lauren Berlant are keynotes.

* TNI has a great excerpt from the beginning of Creepiness.

* A President’s Day remembrance of Ona Judge.

* Neill Blomkamp is making an Alien. ​The Man In The High Castle Gets Series Order From Amazon. Amazon should greenlight this next.

* The City and the City may be a BBC drama. I would have said it was unfilmable, but sure, let’s give it a try.

* Boston’s winter from hell. What the massive snowfall in Boston tells us about global warming.

A Siberian blast—seriously, this air is from Siberia—has turned the eastern U.S. into an icebox featuring the most extreme cold of anywhere on Earth right now. Looking ahead, there’s plenty more where that came from.

* Rudy Giuliani, still horrible.

Melodrama is so powerful, then, because by promising heroic emancipation from terrorist villainy, it implies that US citizens can overcome their feelings of diminished political agency and lost freedom. Melodrama promises that both the US state, and individual Americans, will soon experience heroic freedom by winning the War on Terror. They will cast off their feelings of vulnerability and weakness through heroic action—even when the villain they attack is not the primary cause of their powerlessness or suffering.

* The fastest way to find Waldo. You’re welcome.


Would you like to understand how the “new” Harper Lee novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” came to be billed as a long-lost, blockbuster sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird” — one of the definitive books of the American 20th century — when, by all the known facts, it’s an uneven first draft of the famous novel that was never considered for publication? Would you like to get a glimpse into how clever marketing and cryptic pronouncements have managed to produce an instant bestseller, months before anyone has read it?

* Republicans think this is their moment to kill higher education in America. And they might be right.

Congressman Says We Don’t Need Education Funding Because ‘Socrates Trained Plato On A Rock.’ Checks out.

* The outlook for the rest of Illinois isn’t much better. We Need Syriza in Illinois.

* That there are any homeless children anywhere in the country is an unthinkable national tragedy.

* Save the Wisconsin Idea. You may have to save it from its saviors.

* The inexorable tuition explosion that will result is proving to be politically untenable, and Walker has moved immediately to head it off, consequences be damned. And UW leadership, having adopted a posture of supporting the public authority on principled grounds, is left in the politically deadly position of having to fight for the power to raise tuition arbitrarily.

Meanwhile let’s kill all the state parks too.

* Meanwhile Milwaukee is one of America’s poorest cities. Though it still has one thing going for it.

* “Scott Walker says he consults with God, but his office can’t provide documents to prove it.”

* Thank goodness we were able to take all that valuable real estate we were wasting on schools and turn it profitable again.

Ideology Seen as Factor in Closings in University of North Carolina System. No! It can’t be!

New Education Initiative Replaces K-12 Curriculum With Single Standardized Test.

* The best and worst presidents. The hottest U.S. presidents. The beardiest presidents.

* Mother Jones loves Minnesota governor Mark Dayton.

* Gender and J School.

* The visiting professor scam.

We don’t need more STEM majors. We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training.

* “The academic atmosphere, produced mainly by the humanities, is the only atmosphere in which pure science can flourish.”

* Academic interviews are horrible, mealtime edition.

Oklahoma Lawmakers Vote Overwhelmingly To Ban Advanced Placement U.S. History.

* The end of Miami.

* The West Coast cargo strike.

* Charting the Bechdel Test.

* DWYL, porn industry edition.

* Defund DHS.

What is going to happen to all of those African-languages-speaking, archive-obsessed, genre-discovering graduate students? Listen, I have some terrible news.

* The death cult called the MLA wants you to have hope for some reason though. Really strange study.

Florida Passes Plan For Racially-Based Academic Goals.

* Meanwhile, affirmative action for men in college admissions.

* “A Superbug Nightmare Is Playing Out at an LA Hospital.”

In the current movement against white supremacy and the police we can see the beginnings of a new Black Arts Movement.

But one of America’s ugliest secrets is that our own whistleblowers often don’t do so well after the headlines fade and cameras recede. The ones who don’t end up in jail like Manning, or in exile like Snowden, often still go through years of harassment and financial hardship. And while we wait to see if Loretta Lynch is confirmed as the next Attorney General, it’s worth taking a look at how whistleblowers in America fared under the last regime.

Boston Using Prison Labor To Shovel Heaps Of Snow In Frigid Temperatures For Pennies.

* Revealing scenes from the deranged thinking in the tech industry.

* SMBC messing with the primal forces.

* LARoB reviews Kelly Link’s Get in Trouble and Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary and Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1.

* Clarissa Explains White Supremacy.

* Iceland begins to jail bankers.

* “College Apologizes for Way It Gave M&Ms to Children.”

* “Can There Be Too Many Museums?”

* “Which sexual positions are more likely to break your penis?”

Giant Ron English art-book: Status Factory.

* An excerpt from David Graeber’s The Rules of Utopia.

* Oral histories of the early days of the HIV epidemic.

* National Adjunct Walkout Day is growing near. It’s Time to Review Your Adjunct Employment Policies.

* Trying to create a promotion track outside the tenure stream at Denver.

* The adjunct unionization movement. And more on that.

* Campus cops prepare for National Adjunct Walkout Day.

* Here’s a thing about @OccupyMLA that uses me as its stooge for part of it. Yay?

* Interesting Kickstarter: “Pioneers of African-American Cinema.”

* “DoJ report on Montana justice: Don’t get raped in Missoula, even if you’re only five years old.”

Justice Department ‘seriously examining’ Ferguson race case.

* Another piece on the rise of the Title IX industry. Provocative Harvard Law Review forum on Title IX overreach. However bad we’re doing, though, we can certainly always do worse.

Perhaps with each tuition bill, students should receive a breakdown of how their dollars are spent.

* Academic hiring: The Trading Places hypothesis.

How Arizona State Reinvented Free-Throw Distraction.

* Best wishes, Ed Balls.

* The Oscars and racism. The Oscars and sexism.

* The Brazilian town where the Confederacy lives on.

* DC Comics is bringing back Prez, this time as a teenage girl who gets elected president by Twitter.

Holding Out For a Heroine: On Being a Woman and Loving Star Wars.

10 Worst Misconceptions About Medieval Life You’d Get From Fantasy Books.

* A rare piece from NRO worth linking: The Right-Wing Scam Machine.

Former Nazi Guard Charged with 170,000 Counts of Accessory to Murder. Take the plea deal!

The CIA asked me about controlling the climate – this is why we should worry.

To misappropriate the prophecy of another technological sage: the post-human dystopia is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed yet.

* Mark Bould has another post on Jupiter Ascending trying to wrangle its treatment of gender. Lots of good discussion of Princess Leia here too.

* Plans to whip us up into another invasion in the Middle East are proceeding apace.

* When horrific child abuse becomes quirk.

* Florida police officer: “Planting evidence and lying in your reports are just part of the game.”

* Cuteness in history. Why when you see something cute you (sometimes) want to destroy it.

Another Reason To Worry About The Measles.

Wearable Workplace “Mood Monitors” Are About To Become A Thing.

* A People’s History of Franklin.

* Asexuals and Demisexuals in Wired.

* Five-alarm nerd alert: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality has begun its final arc.

* Settlers of Catan: The Movie.

* And in case that’s not enough here’s some more proof we as a nation are still capable of great things.


Written by gerrycanavan

February 20, 2015 at 11:37 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Links!

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* 2015 CFP for the MRG: “Enthusiasm for Revolution.”

* Reminder: Call for Postdoctoral Fellow: Alternative Futurisms.

* Criminalizing parenting.

The Long, Wondrous Interview with Junot Díaz You Have to Read. By the great Taryne Taylor! From the same issue of Paradoxa that has my essay on Snowpiercer in it.

Panel Conversation on Afrofutrism between Nnedi Okorafor and Sofia Samatar at the University of Texas.

Ellen Craft, the Slave Who Posed as a Master and Made Herself Free.

Having paddled so hard to avoid the Scylla of hyperprofessionalization in English studies, some promoters of alternative careers may not notice that they are in the grip of Charybdis’s hyperprofessionalization of everything else. The harder they paddle, the harder the whirlpool pulls us all down. Great piece from Marc Bousquet addressing a number of key issues in academic labor.

* Universities without Austerity.

A History of the MLA Job List.

* The headline reads, “UMass Ends Use of Student Informants.”

* The Data Sublime.

Loved Your Nanny Campus? Start-Up Pledges Similar Services for Grads.

These Two States Will Revoke Your License If You Can’t Pay Back Your Student Loans.

* He put that cartoon up on the classroom whiteboard, and the teacher left it there all day as a lesson in free speech.

These World Leaders Are a Worse Threat to Free Press Than Terrorism.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Newspaper Edits Female World Leaders Out of Charlie Hebdo March.

* What’s Missing From the Debate on Obama’s Free Community-College Plan.

* The end of the university in Louisiana.

* Elvis vs. the Beatles.

* Malcolm Harris: The Small Miracle You Haven’t Heard About Amid the Carnage in Syria.

* Urick v. Koenig, part two.

Report: Duke Ignored Warnings on Research Fraud.

53 Historians Weigh In on Barack Obama’s Legacy.

* Back to the Future, Time Travel, and the Secret History of the 1980s.

To be clear, late-night votes might be a bit of a problem for Joseph Morrissey, the newly sworn-in Virginia House delegate who must report to his jail cell about 7:30 each evening.

Muslim Americans are the staunchest opponents of military attacks on civilians, compared with members of other major religious groups Gallup has studied in the United States. Seventy-eight percent of Muslim Americans say military attacks on civilians are never justified.

$1 Million Prize for Scientists Who Can Cure Human Aging. Sure, I’ll go in for a few bucks on that.

Trial by Ebola.

* Too real:  Woman’s Parents Accepting Of Mixed-Attractiveness Relationship.

What If We Could Live In A World Without War But Way More Famine?

Blue-eyed humans have a single, common ancestor.

A Cybernetic Implant That Allows Paralyzed Rats To Walk Again.

In 2014, Florida recorded at least 346 deaths inside of their prison system, an all-time high for the state in spite of the fact that its overall prison population has hovered around 100,000 people for the five previous years. Hundreds of these deaths from 2014 and from previous years are now under investigation by the DOJ because of the almost unimaginable role law enforcement officers are playing in them.

* Last week: The City Is Reportedly Losing $10 Million a Week Because the NYPD Isn’t Writing Enough Tickets. This week: NYPD Slowdown Turns Into “Broken Windows” Crackdown.

The point of a strike is to stop production to show the work you do is essential. The NYPD slowdown has proven the opposite.

The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Time to Shut it Down.

Every day, cops toss dangerous military-style grenades during raids, with little oversight and horrifying results.

Albuquerque cop mistakenly guns down undercover narcotics officer during bungled $60 meth bust. Elsewhere in Albuquerque.

1 In 3 College Men In Survey Said They Would Rape A Woman If They Could Get Away With It.

Danny Boyle Having “Serious” Conversations About 28 Months Later. I’m in as long as it’s the first step towards Years.

* Radically unnecessary Avatar sequels reportedly having script problems. What could explain it?

* Frozen in everything, forever and ever amen.

* Seems legit: NASCAR driver says his ex-girlfriend is a trained assassin.

This Computer Program Is ‘Incapable Of Losing’ At Poker.

Scholar and activist Glen Coulthard on the connection between indigenous and anticapitalist struggles.

* This seems like glorified Avengers fan fiction but I’m on board. Meanwhile, in Fantastic Four news.

* Ah, there’s my problem: iPhone Separation Anxiety Makes You Dumber, Study Finds.

* I’m you, from the future! At the 16th most popular webcomic.

* They say time is the fire in which we burn.

* The Marquette Tribune is following the ongoing McAdams suspension at the university.

Study says we prefer singers who look like big babies during good times. This research must be stopped. Some things mankind was never meant to know.

* “To her disappointment she found that the Purchased Products did not even feel different from her regular socks and tights.”

* Community get a premiere date.

And Cookie-Based Research Suggests Powerful People Are Sloppier Eaters. Of course the sloppy among us have always known this.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 15, 2015 at 8:30 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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* The commentators calling $3,000 salaries evil a century ago would have an aneurysm at the sight of coaching contracts today. Deadspin found last year that college football coaches were the highest-paid state employees in twenty-seven states. (Basketball coaches held that status in another thirteen.) The salary inflation is a direct product of increasing college sports revenue, thanks in large part to massive television deals. Because the colleges and their athletic departments are nonprofit, they need to spend the money they bring in, and since they can’t pay players, there are only so many places that money can go. Head coaches and other athletic staffers are direct beneficiaries.

* My Favorite Graph of 2014: The Rise and Rise of the Top 0.1 Percent.

* Americans Have Spent Enough Money On A Broken Plane To Buy Every Homeless Person A Mansion.

* Elsewhere in the richest society ever in the history of the world.

* David Harvey and Leo Panitch: Beyond Impossible Reform and Improbable Revolution.

* North Korea, Sony, and stenography.

* The successful attempt to reduce fat in the diet of Americans and others around the world has been a global, uncontrolled experiment, which like all experiments may well have led to bad outcomes. What’s more, it has initiated a further set of uncontrolled global experiments that are continuing. Editorial in the British Medical Journal.

A new study from Stanford looks at what happened in Italy, when a 1961 law doubled the number of students in STEM majors graduating from the country’s universities.

* …when people claim that the “free market” system outproduced Soviet Communism, what they are saying is that markets more effectively produced discipline. It was more successful at imposing patterns of human action and restriction conducive to military and economic production than a command economy was capable of imposing.

“Why Is My Curriculum White?”

When Rioting is Rational.

* If Tom Joad is alive after 1945, what is his future? Am I the only who sees him becoming a conservative like most of his fellow ex-sharecropper migrants and voting for Goldwater in 64? Grapes of Wrath fanfic at LGM.

* Neill Blomkamp’s Secret Alien Movie Looks So Good We’re Furious.

Math Suggests Most Cancers Are Caused By “Bad Luck.”

* Florida: We’re The Worst. Arizona: Not So Fast.

* And then there’s Wisconsin. Pregnant woman challenging Wisconsin protective custody law.

At the clinic, a urine test showed Loertscher was pregnant, and also revealed her past drug use. Another test confirmed she had a severe thyroid condition.

Medical officials shared the findings with the county social services personnel, who subsequently went to court and had a guardian ad litem appointed for Loertscher’s 14-week-old fetus.

Social workers asked Loertscher repeatedly to release her medical records to county officials, and said that if she didn’t, she would be jailed until she had her baby, which would then be put up for adoption.

* Is the Gates Foundation Still Investing in Private Prisons?

* UNC-Chapel Hill Firing Professor Over Academic Fraud Scandal.

* Lines mankind was never meant to cross: LEGO Awarded 3D Printing Patent, May Allow Users to Print Own Bricks.

* The NYPD is Ironically Proving that Most of Their Police Work is Completely Unnecessary. The Benefits of Fewer NYPD Arrests.

* The eclipse of democracy.

* And Traci Reardon and J.W. Stillwater have a good old fashioned New Year’s Sentiment Off.


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